Five Partners Join Ex Libris in Developing New Research Services Platform

Ex Libris®, a ProQuest company, is pleased to announce the establishment of a development partnership with Lancaster University, the University of Iowa, the University of Miami, the University of Oklahoma, and the University of Sheffield. The partners will collaborate on the development of a new end-to-end research services platform, Ex Libris Esploro. This development program will give the partners a significant voice in shaping Esploro and its future roadmap, as well as an opportunity to engage with other development partners and the community of researchers. Continue reading.



CHC Research Colloquia 2017-2018: Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellows Speak on their Research

The Cuban Heritage Collection’s 2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Research Colloquia kicks off in August with several talks by researchers who will be describing their works in progress.

​Colloquia are scheduled for 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Held at the Elena Díaz-Versón Amos Conference Room in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, these events are free and open to the public.

  • Tuesday, August 1
  • John Ermer, Florida International University (History)
    The Lebanese Mahjar in Cuba
  • Asiel Sepulveda, Southern Methodist University (Art History)
    City Impressions: Frédéric Mialhe and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Havana
  • Thursday, August 3
  • Lilianne Lugo Herrera, University of Miami (Modern Languages and Literatures)
    Transnational Black Bodies: Caribbean Perspectives on the Theater of the Cuban Diaspora
  • Thursday, August 10
  • Rodrigo Del Rio, Harvard University (Romance Languages and Literatures)
    Cuban Urban Imaginaries: Writing the City on the Verge of Revolution
  • Tuesday, August 15
  • Alberto Sosa Cabanas, Florida International University (Modern Languages)
    Racism, Celebration and Otherness: Depictions of Blackness in the Cuban Cultural Discourse (1790-1959)
  • Tuesday, August 22
  • Catherine Mas, Yale University (History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine)
    The Culture Brokers: Medicine, Anthropology, and Transcultural Miami, 1960-1990
  • Wednesday, October 11
  • Corinna Moebius, Florida International University (Global and Sociocultural Studies)
    Transnational Racial Politics of Public Memory and Public Space in Little Havana’s Heritage District
  • Friday, December 15
  • Rosanne Sia, University of Southern California (American Studies and Ethnicity)
    Performing Fantasy in Motion: The Hemispheric Circulation of Women Performers, 1940-1960
  • William Kelly, Rutgers University (History)
    Revolución es [Re]construir: Housing Policy and Everyday Life in the Cuban Revolution, 1959-1989

Learn more about the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships »



FIU, UM Join Statewide Effort to Raise Florida Presence in National Online Library

Sunshine State Digital Network Helps Organizations Around State Enlarge Access to their Digitized Collections

Souvenir of Miami, Miami Beach, Florida

Souvenir of Miami, Miami Beach, Florida from the University of Miami Special Collections.

Cultural, historical, and educational institutions throughout South and Central Florida can now share their digitized holdings with people across the United States and around the world with guidance from librarians and digital strategists at Florida International University (FIU) and the University of Miami (UM).

The two universities have partnered with Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, FL, to create the Sunshine State Digital Network (SSDN), which serves as the state’s administrative and infrastructure portal to the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA).

The Boston-based DPLA is a public, open-source platform that connects users to digitized art works, artifacts, archival documents, and other materials from organizations ranging from modest community historical societies to massive cultural institutions. Assets contributed by Florida organizations to DPLA are displayed in search results alongside those from many other collections, fostering learning, research, tourism, business, and other endeavors.

The shared network roles of FIU and UM will be to help South and Central Florida organizations make sure that the metadata—information such as title, description, and copyright status—of each item in their collections conforms to DPLA standards. FIU and UM then transmit the optimized digital files to the SSDN hub at FSU, which gathers and prepares the files for quarterly “harvesting,” or uploading, by the DPLA. FIU and UM also collaborate with the SSDN on efforts to facilitate and expand the representation of Florida institutions in the rapidly growing national research resource.

“DPLA and SSDN offer a tremendous opportunity to share the depth and richness of our state’s digital collections,” said Anne Prestamo, Dean of Libraries at FIU. “We look forward to advising and assisting libraries, museums, and archives throughout South and Central Florida to fully leverage that potential.”

“Through SSDN, we are making it possible for archives, libraries, museums, and other collections across the state to publish their unique holdings on a global platform,” said Charles Eckman, Dean of University of Miami Libraries and University Librarian. “It’s all about fostering discovery and innovation through enhanced access, which is central to our mission and vision.”

By presenting search results aggregated from diverse sources, DPLA also creates new options and experiences for site visitors. “When people see items from Florida troves intermingled with those from other contributors, they are able to make novel connections that would have been extremely difficult to make otherwise,” said Sarah Shreeves, associate dean of digital strategies at UM Libraries.

“The community at large benefits from this increased ability to engage with cultural and historical content across multiple institutions,” noted Jamie Rogers, director of FIU’s Digital Collection Center.

Since FIU and UM have already uploaded a significant portion of their own digital collections to DPLA, the two universities are now prioritizing efforts to grow the number of Florida organizations participating in the initiative. A November series of introductory SSDN workshops attracted representatives from more than 30 public libraries, museums, academic libraries, library cooperatives, and other cultural heritage institutions.

Greater Miami: Guide Book and History to The Magic City

Greater Miami: Guide Book and History to The Magic City from the University of Miami Special Collections.

In addition to outreach and orientation, metadata experts at FIU Libraries and UM Libraries provide interested organizations with hands-on assistance as needed. Initial development of the universities’ SSDN planning, training, and metadata evaluation procedures was supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation.

SSDN goals for 2018 include bringing the State Library and Archives of Florida into the DPLA fold while mentoring the many smaller organizations, both public and private, that seek to share their digital holdings on DPLA.

DPLA is completely open to public and can be visited at dp.la. Items in its collections can be located via a standard search query, maps, timelines, or in special exhibitions, as well as through an array of independently developed extensions that allow highly customized searches.

To learn more about the SSDN, visit sunshinestatedigitalnetwork.org or explore the collections on the dp.la site.



Library Renovation Projects

Designing a Better Library for U: Renovation & Renewal at Richter

Building stronger connections with students, faculty, and our neighboring communities is essential to our ongoing mission at the University of Miami Libraries. Over the course of the past year, fostering new and deepened partnerships aimed at improving library spaces and programs has paved the way toward new and exciting projects. This page will serve to keep our community updated on the progress of two ongoing renovations on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library: the Kislak Center at the University of Miami and the UM Libraries Learning CommonsLearn more.



Handle with Care | Preservation Strategies for Pan Am’s Digital Archive

Conservator Duvy Argandoña prepares a document in the Conservation Lab on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library.

Repair and conserve: a phrase that drives a vast and complex component of University of Miami Libraries’ (UML) mission. Primary source materials and books are handled over years, decades, and even centuries; room conditions fluctuate, humidity falls and rises, and critters occasionally find their way to them for a snack. For the specialists that manage UML’s Preservation Strategies Department, “repair and conserve” holds a significance akin to a “search and rescue” operation—only rather than a search for people, it’s about the search for and provision of aid to materials that are in distress or imminent danger. As items become damaged and too fragile to handle, they require treatment and special care in order to ensure they can remain accessible by students and researchers in the future.

The grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission has allowed UML to sustain such specialized preservation efforts as the digitization of materials from the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records collection continues. This ongoing project is now at a stage where a second group of images from the renowned aviation collection are in the process of being made accessible by keyword search. These brochures, timetables, directories, and other items require special treatment prior to any scans or photographs to ensure that the text in them can be recognized, or that they can even be handled for image capturing purposes.

Argandoña uses the hot spatula and tweezers to repair small tears in a Pan Am brochure.

Duvy Argandoña is the conservator at the Otto G. Richter Library. She spends a good portion of her workdays in the Conservation Lab repairing Pan Am materials before they can be scanned. The Lab, a brightly-lit, state-of-the-art equipped facility, is an infirmary for the collection’s torn or creased materials, where Argandoña uses specialized machines and tools to reconcile any damage that might interfere with digitization.

“The meticulous work done by Duvy is so important to the process, because it’s essentially our means of loss control—vetting and repairing the materials in a way that ensures we are able to capture the best scans possible,” says Gabriella Williams, who works closely with Argandoña and is managing this digitization project. Williams prepares and triages the materials before they are sent to the Lab. She flags each box, folder-by-folder, and creates a detailed, object-level spreadsheet of the items that require attention.

The humidification dome releases a mist of deionized water to relax a map’s paper fibers.

Argandoña then uses both basic and more complex techniques, depending on the level of damage, to repair the selected materials. “For mending small tears in brochures and timetables, I use the hot spatula tool and heat-set tissue paper,” says Argandoña. She first cuts the tissue paper into five millimeter strips and then uses tweezers to line up the strips with the seams of the torn documents. Carefully holding the tissue paper in place with tweezers, she applies soft pressure with the hot spatula until the paper adheres.

If a large map or fold-out is wrinkled or bent, Argandoña places it in a humidification dome for up to 15 minutes before any further repairs are made. “The dome uses a deionized water vapor mist to help the paper fibers relax, then the item is arranged between blotter paper sheets in the oversized book press for 24 hours, or until all the creases are gone,” says Argandoña.

Martha Horan, head of Preservation Strategies.

On October 17, UML welcomed new Head of Preservation Strategies Martha Horan, who is enthusiastic about working with the Pan Am materials under the NHPRC grant.

“Too often one does not consider the highly skilled, artisan-like techniques that go on behind-the-scenes in a library to stabilize and treat materials as part of preservation and digitization,” says Horan. “It’s an impressive operation here, with an even more impressive team behind it. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the Libraries.”

Digital images of these materials from the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records—which date from the company’s inception in 1927 until it ceased operations in 1991—are now available to the public for browsing and research purposes on the University of Miami Libraries’ Digital Collections web site.

Photos by Brittney Bomnin



“Black Hair Magic” student photography exhibit, event

You are cordially invited to

Black Hair Magic

October 26, 2017 | 6 p.m.
Otto G. Richter Library, 3rd Floor Conference Room
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146

Join us for a talk and reception with UM student photographer, Alexis McDonald. McDonald’s photographs aim to demonstrate the beauty of Black culture and showcase the diversity of Black hair. She began the collection in 2015 and continues to expand it, hoping these photographs will serve as a constant reminder of the uniqueness of Black culture.

Light refreshments will be served following the presentation.

Black Hair Magic is on view in the Richter Library first floor Digital Media Lab through December 2017.

Questions? Please send an email to richterevents@miami.edu or call 305-284-4026.


UM is a smoke-free campus. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive.



Fact Books (1972 – 2016) Are Now Accessible Online!

By Koichi Tasa, University Archivist

The fact books provide the most reliable benchmark data about the University.

We are pleased to announce the completion of a digitization project of another invaluable publication of the University of Miami, the entire run of the “Fact Books,” produced by the University of Miami Office of Planning, Institutional Research, and Assessment (PIRA).

The fact books provide the most reliable benchmark data about the University, such as student enrollments, retention and graduation rates, degrees granted, class sizes, library statistics, tuition and expenses, research funding, financial highlights, and endowment statistics. They are also an excellent source of information about the University’s history, administration and facilities, student life, and athletics.

The best way to research the collection is to browse the volumes one by one. Please click the icon “Browse All in this collection” at the landing page (link below) to access the digitized fact books. Once you have selected the volume you need, click the “Download” icon on the upper right corner of the screen, and select “All (PDF)” to save the file on your computer.

For further information about the PIRA, please visit their website at the link below.

The digitization project of the Fact Books was made possible by an interdepartmental collaboration among the University Archives, Digital Production, Metadata & Discovery Services, and Web & Application Development at the Otto G. Richter Library.